Left-Wing Independent Losing Steam in Maine Senate Race

Cortney O'Brien

10/5/2012 11:05:00 AM - Cortney O'Brien
The Maine Senate race that once seemed like a one-man show is now getting more players. Independent candidate Angus King’s once significant lead back in June, when he led with a comfortable 27 points, has since dropped to 14.5 as his opponents Cynthia Dill (D) and Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R) begin to close the gap.

King, Dill and Summers are all vying for the Maine Senate seat after incumbent Olympia Snowe (R) announced her retirement at the end of this term. The winner will join the state’s other current senator, Susan Collins (R).

Although King is running as an independent, his ideology and past actions suggests he leans to the left. He is pro-abortion, a champion of Obamacare and supported the president in 2008. King’s Democratic leanings and potential to caucus with the Party are rumored to be the reasons the DSCC has not officially endorsed Dill in the race – a silence which has caused a bit of controversy.

Instead of feeling bitter toward the DSCC’s silence, Dill is focusing her energy on increasing transparency during the campaign. Last week, she requested each candidate release ten years’ worth of tax returns. As much as can be determined, this is the widest release of personal records ever produced in the history of Maine politics.

“This united effort will give Maine voters greater insight into our backgrounds, full knowledge of our finances and a deeper understanding of who we are as candidates to the highest elected federal office in the state,” Dill said in a written statement.

King and Summers both complied with the request and released seven to eight years of tax returns, while Dill released the full ten.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Summers, a commander in the United States Naval Reserve who served on active duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is concentrating on his military service and “Veterans for Charlie” campaign. This movement, his campaign stated, would include a statewide coalition of veterans. The honorary chairmen for the new coalition are former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Don Collins, a WWII veteran, former state senator and the father of Sen. Collins.

“There is no group of people I respect more than our veterans,” Summers said about the new coalition. “I’m humbled by their support and ensuring their needs are met will be one of my top priorities in the Senate.”